February 6, 2022 | EJ Brown, Emmanuel Dominquez, Taylor Walling
Challenges to our faith come in all forms: the storms of life, the doubts we face, or the insecurity we feel. In this rotating series, EJ Brown, Emmanuel Dominguez, and Taylor Walling will take us into stories in the Gospel to show how God meets us when our faith feels questionable.
Well, I want to welcome everybody who's joining us online as well as those who are in person. Normally I would also be welcoming those who are with us at West Fort Worth and our South Lake campus. But today we're doing something a little different in our Series. So if you've got your Bibles, go ahead and turn a 10th of those online to John chapter 3, the third chapter of the Gospel of John and that's we're going to be in a moment. But while you're turning there, I want to just just say, a quick word. About a very important event, that was rescheduled because of the weather this last week. So we have an interest night coming up for for a potential Dallas campus, part of our vision. Over the next five years is that we believe God's calling us to plant a fourth and fifth campus. And so, we are getting a lot of interest and going through a discernment process about potentially, starting a Dallas campus. Nothing's final. We're holding it open handed before the Lord, but on February 15th, that's it. A Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. We have rescheduled our interest night. That was originally going to be this last Thursday. So, to everybody, listening to the sound of my voice. If you know, anybody in Dallas who might be interested in being part of a Hills campus. Maybe they're looking for a church home. Maybe maybe they've moved on that side of town or recently moved, please. Please get the word out about this interest night. We would love to see as many people there as possible who might be interested in. Being part of what God might be doing for a fourth campus in Dallas. We'll keep you updated on what on what's happening with that as the months and weeks, go on because we really don't know, but we are praying and we'd ask you to join us in praying about February 15th, 7 p.m. Now. The reason I'm not talking to South Lake and West Fort Worth right now, is because we're doing something different across the series. If you're new to our church. I'm so glad you're with us. We are one Church in three locations, we have Have campus here in NRH and Southlake in West Fort Worth and the vast majority of the time. What's preached at NRH is broadcast to South Lake in West Fort Worth. But over these next three weeks. We have live preaching at all three campuses. And that's going to be part of a series, were calling questionable Faith. So myself, and two other ministers, Emanuel Dominguez and EJ, Brown are going to be rotating between campuses. As we as we unpack this series. Now pause for a second and To talk to some people who are podcasting this later, or maybe watching on YouTube, what I want you to do. If you go to West Fort Worth, if you go to South Lake and you're listening to this and it is, it's the week. Following February 7th or onward. Spoiler alert. This sermon is coming to your campus. So if you want to hear this for the first time in person, stop listening, go to our YouTube page and you'll be able to see the messages preached by EJ and Emmanuel. All right back. To talking to people who are right here. So this is what happens in a multi-site church, but I'm excited for what God is going to do over these next three weeks. I was praying with with EJ and Emmanuel, yesterday about this. Here's the thing. The reason we're excited about the series questionable faith is because there is no mature faith, that hasn't experienced some kind of challenge anybody who's been a Christian longer than a month. Say Amen. And the challenges we Face, they come in all shapes and sizes challenges to our faith. Could be the storms of life. They could be the doubts. We Face, they can be the insecurities. We feel as Believers in society, but whether you are 20, something or 70, something we all face moments when our faith is called into question, whether whether you are still in high school or whether when they printed your high school graduation photo, it was in black and white. All of us need this message. because we all face times where Faith feels questionable and where we struggle to get our mind or even our mouths around, why it's still worth holding on to Speaking of get struggling to get your mind around. Something. I have one quick story, and a video from this last week of the snow days. I hope everybody stayed warm and safe. It was certainly better than last year, but I have a five-year-old son named Finn, a two-year-old daughter named Imogen. And and so when we were talking to them about to the snow days, my son, especially fin was very excited because he wanted to Build a Snowman. He was talking about it and talking about it. And so we tried Thursday and the snow was still really dry. And coming apart, but as it started to melt and get a stickier, we went out on Friday, and we built a Snowman and I was filming this for family, but I want to show you a short clip of when he and I were talking about what we were going to name this snowman. Watch this. So does this snowman have a name
Rob? Mr. Rob the Snowman? Okay,
Frosty, the Snowman. Oh, okay. Frosty, the Snowman whose nickname is Rob. Know,
the Snowman was a jolly happy soul.
All right. Now I show you that because number one, it is objectively adorable. And number two, because this message is going to address a corncob pipe part of our faith. A part of our faith, that sometimes is difficult for us to articulate or even want to talk about. And when the topic comes up, we might be willing to kind of look at somebody else. And go, you say it and that is some of the social pressure and even in security. That we can feel and Christians, Christians in today's world.
I heard a church planter describe how you can kind of look at different regions of the country. Based on three different zones, a Red Zone, a yellow zone, and a green zone. Green zones would be part of the country where Faith might be seen as some kind of a social advantage or benefit. We're being a person of a Christian, faith would be admired. Broadly, speaking this church planter said, you know, you could call lots of parts in the South as potential. Green zones, yellow zones, would be parts of the country where somebody who's a Christian. It's not necessarily an advantage, but it's just kind of a net neutral. Faith is reasonably tolerated and even respected. Meanwhile, you can predict red zones, are those parts of the country and cities. Where being a Christian, is actually a social disadvantage because of how Jesus and his church are perceived and even disdained. This church planter was in a city in the Northeast and said over the last over, you know, 15 or so years that they'd been in this city. They said they'd watch their City go from a yellow zone to a red zone.
Now, for a moment, take that those those zones and don't lay them over the map of a country. But think about your neighborhood.
Think about your workplace.
Think about your classroom and classmates.
And the family that you go visit for the holidays or see on the weekends and when you see their faces, what zones, do they fit into?
Do they admire somebody who has a Christian conviction and lifestyle?
Are they willing to at least tolerate it? Or do they struggle to understand or show any respect?
When I think about my life, when I think about my family tree, when I think about friends from high school or college days, I'll confess over the years. The green zones have receded and the yellow and red zones have grown.
Too many people today. Let's be honest following. Jesus is questionable at best.
That was certainly the posture of a man named Nicodemus.
I want to take you through The three-act Saga of his appearance in the Gospel of John as his three appearances. Give us kind of a helpful frame of reference for this conversation. So, as we go through these three acts, everybody live at nrha, act one. It's John chapter 3. Now. There was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling Council. He came to Jesus at night and said, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher, who has come from God for no one. Could perform the signs you're doing, if God were not with him. Now in the cliff notes, version of the story. We just learned very quickly. That Nicodemus is wealthy that he is religiously devout. And that he is politically powerful. He's part of an exclusive religious group the Pharisees. These were some of the most religiously devout and respected in the community, but he's part of an even more. Exclusive group, the Jewish ruling Council also known as the Sanhedrin. They were the most influential religious group. In all the country. And Nicodemus is among them, the elite.
And he comes to Jesus at night. Now, there's different theories as to why that is. But in a little bit, I want to show you why I think Nicodemus went at night because he didn't want to be seen with Jesus. Jesus was not wealthy. Jesus was not yet.